Today is the second Monday of August, so you know what that means! No? Anyone? Any Rhode Islanders out there?
Alright, enough fooling around. The second Monday in August is referred to as “Victory Day,” or V-J Day as it is more commonly known. It is meant to commemorate the surrender of Japan, which took place on August 15, 1945 effectively ending World War II. America, fuck yeah! Actually it’s more like, Rhode Island, fuck yeah!
Rhode Island is the only state in the Union that acknowledges this holiday. That means that the Post Offices and banks are closed, and yet Geoff still has to work tonight. But I digress. Now I’m fairly certain I know what you’re thinking. Why does the Ocean State celebrate this holiday? And my answer to that is that I have no idea.
Let’s think about it in logically. Yes, it was a momentous occasion in world history. The most destructive war the world had ever seen was now over. Evil was defeated. Good persevered. All was right with the world.
But not really.
I am in no way trying to disrespect our Armed Forces. I’ve always maintained that I could never endure what the brave men and women of our military go through, and I will always maintain that. They are extraordinary citizens.
On the Pacific front of the war, they were being slaughtered by the Japanese. So President Truman decided the only way to end the war and bring them home was to drop not one, but two atomic bombs on the Japanese, first in Hiroshima and then Nagasaki.
Two atomic bombs. In Hiroshima, approximately 80,000 people were directly killed by the bomb. By the end of the year, casualties from injury and radiation totaled 90,000 to 140,000. In Nagasaki, an estimated 73, 884 people were initially killed, not to mention the thousands that died from disease.
Today is August 9, which is the anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing, and it just so happens that V-J Day falls on the same date this year. So what we’re really celebrating is the use of the most destructive weapon in the history of mankind. Way to go Rhode Island.
There have been numerous attempts to eliminate the holiday, but they all failed. In 1990, the state legislature passed a resolution “stating that Victory Day is not a day to express satisfaction in the destruction and death caused by nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
Do you buy that? I certainly don’t.
I’ve always been a supporter of eradicating all nuclear weapons from the Earth because they are meant for one thing only: absolute destruction. I believe it’s nothing but arrogance to dictate which countries are allowed to have nuclear weapons. No one should have nuclear weapons. End of story.
I feel like it’s appropriate to leave you with A Perfect Circle’s cover of John Lennon’s amazing “Imagine.”
(Editors note: The actual music video cannot be embedded, so check that out for the full imagery.)